Travelling with a Toothache

A TOOTHACHE ON holiday is the worst. One moment you’re enjoying yourself and the next, you’re sitting at the hotel with an icepack on your cheek. Don’t let a toothache ruin your spring break! Check out some tips on how to prevent and relieve pesky dental pains.


Plan Ahead For A Potential Toothache

Understanding how to prevent oral health issues can help you avoid any unexpected tooth troubles.


Address Existing Issues Before Your Trip

It’s a good idea to schedule a visit to your dentist ahead of your journey. This appointment is an opportunity to check and treat any potential issues, such as cavities or impacted wisdom teeth. It can also be a chance for you to discuss ways to maintain healthy habits on your trip abroad.

If you feel you may need to see a dentist while you’re away, ask your dentist for the names of dental professionals that you can contact. Having a plan (in case of a dental emergency) can give you some peace of mind.

Pack Smart

Swimsuits, sunglasses and sunscreen are usually on the top of one’s list when packing for a vacation in the sun. Unfortunately, dental travel essentials are often forgotten (especially floss!) We recommend packing travel-sized fluoride toothpaste, floss and alcohol-free mouthwash.

Oh, and don’t forget your toothbrush! Mini versions of your bathroom staples don’t take up much room in your carry-on luggage, so there are no excuses!


A woman grimaces as she gets a toothache while travelling on an airplane


What To Do If You Get A Toothache During Your Trip

In some situations, a troublesome tooth can start bothering you when you least expect it. There are some steps you can take to provide temporary relief.


Toothaches On A Plane

Due to the frequent pressure changes in a cabin, toothaches can feel more painful than usual. Unfortunately, not much can be done to prevent or soothe “airplane toothaches” – unlike unblocking ears, gum chewing or swallowing will not help relieve pressure. Painkillers are not guaranteed to always work either. Some feel comfortable with placing an ice cube on the painful spot, but this method is not scientifically proven to work.

It’s important to keep in mind that upper teeth are located just under the sinuses – sinus pain is often mistaken for tooth pain. Sinus pain can be relieved by earplugs gum chewing and swallowing, so give these common sinus remedies a try if you are unsure.

A Toothache After Arriving At Your Destination

If you aren’t able to see a dentist, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. This can help remove any oral debris that may be causing the ache. If you find the dentin (the layer of your tooth under the enamel) becoming exposed, try covering it with sugar-free gum or wax. With meals, avoid any spices and foods that can irritate the painful area.

Keep in mind that these fixes are only temporary – it’s best to find a local dentist or clinic that offers emergency dental services.


Travelling Involves Planning And Preparation

Planning and preparation include taking care of your oral health in advance! To avoid any painful toothaches or emergency dental issues (and unsightly international dental fees) during your trip, seek dental treatment or a quick check-up ahead of time.

Contact our office today to get in touch with our team before the start of your getaway!


Want to read more? Check out this excellent summary on tips for great oral health by the Canadian Dental Association.

Want to get in before you get out? We can see you for a general check-up to make sure your teeth are in tip-top shape before you leave for vacation. You can book an appointment with us here.




This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about dental, oral health, and related sub­jects. The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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